Going face to face

A quick update of my first time conducting face to face readings, this time in a Buddhist fair. How it was, what I learned, and whether I would do it again.
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For a few months now I have been doing free one-card readings through my Instagram account to practice a bit more and improve my confidence with my outward reading decks, the gilded tarot and the secret forest. I have also swapped readings with other (generally more experienced) tarot readers, which has given me a wealth of tips and approaches to reading certain cards, constructing the answer and liaising with the querent as clients.

I’ve started to forge personal and more professional relationships through that medium, loved writing the little stories each reading entails and learnt a lot about myself and others. So I jumped at the opportunity when I saw the local Buddhist centre was holding a fair, so I offered to donate my services.

As a very organised person, I got in touch with them months in advance, and found it hard not being able to finalise logistics and details until the day, so some things weren’t exactly as I would have wished. As you can see from the picture above, I managed to make the most of my reading space, with a nice layout for my table, but the low table implied using cushions for three hours. The surroundings (an empty room in the back, with chairs piled-up in a corner) were easily dismissed while focusing on the reading, but we’re far from ideal.

People were both excited and surprised of having tarot in a Buddhist fair, and I am happy to report I was fully booked through the afternoon. I met members of the Buddhist community as well as the general public. People entirely new to tarot and others who even knew a bit of this art. Older and younger, male and female querents. This was great, and a welcome change to the usual crowd I get through my Instagram account – I loved it.

I had 20 minute slots, to perform 15-minute readings with an eight-card spread, based on the Buddha’s eight-fold path. I adapted the spread in such a way to facilitate conversation and obtain some initial feedback and reassurance from the querent based on the first two cards (their view of the world and the current focus of their intent) so as to bond with them and understand what to focus on the rest of the reading. Depending on their feedback, I was able to concentrate on their relationships, work or even their spiritual lives. This live relationship-building with the other person across the table was priceless.

Feedback was overall good, I felt I was able to link with most of my querents. Particularly touching was one case with a lady that cried during the reading, as I really struck a cord regarding pinpointing a personal situation. This was incredibly emotional, and I felt in heaven of being able to touch so many lives and provide some reassurance.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! The feedback was positive, the fair doubled its proceeds compared to last year, and I have been invited to attend the next. Great!

Key learnings for me:
1) Bringing more than one tarot deck and do some shuffling myself. I found people did not feel comfortable shuffling the deck, and the same cards kept cropping up over and over. So perhaps to cleanse the energy swapping decks may be useful.

2) relax a bit more regarding logistics – not everyone is as turbo-charged as I am, go with the flow!

3) timing and recharging – although 15 minutes were ok in terms of readings, perhaps 10 minutes between readings would have been better. I felt truly exhausted at the end. Recharging properly is critical!

What I did well:

1) approach – it was great to offer a single type of general reading, no question-oriented, as this expedites things.

2) practice – I practiced the reading several times, reviewed my keywords and timed myself to see if I could do it in the time allotted.

3) disclaimer – I set out a high-level, written disclaimer of what people could expect from the reading and me as a reader. Did not claim I was a professional or a psychic, and to facilitate participation, I wrote something along these lines

a tarot reading is a conversation using tarot cards as prompts for discussion.

This helped us relax and set the right expectations with a down-to-earth approach.

what type of readings do you prefer? Have you donated your time as reader for a good cause? Was it well received? Any pearls of wisdom to share?

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5 thoughts on “Going face to face

  1. I admire your courage. I read tarot myself, but have only ever done so for friends and family. I don’t think I would have the confidence to do something like this, but perhaps that is something I should work on. A friend suggested taking my deck to my local pub, and doing readings for those that show interest in what I am doing, free of charge and just as a confidence building exercise. This might be something I will consider, having read your experience. Glad the day went so well for you.

    1. Thanks so much Spider! You should definitely try, you’ll see it’s a completely different story when reading for people you don’t know. I’ll be happy to swap readings over email of you like!

      I also thought about the pub idea, however not every pub owner would be happy for you to do so, also thought nail bars would be a great place to entertain customers, but it wouldn’t be as casual.

      Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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